Mckenzie, this is one of those “whys” that I cannot answer definitively. She could have had a bad experience around the face, she may have an abscess that you are not aware of, or she may have made an association between being bridled and any touching of the face.
You can slowly teach her to accept the touch with some fun training:
- First, teach your horse that a particular sound or word means that food is about to come. I like to use a short whistle sound (I call it a “tweet”) that I can make with my mouth. Make the sound, then give your horse a small, tasty treat. Once she is anticipating a treat when she hears the sound, she is ready to learn!
- Begin by touching her as close to the face as you can without her pinning her earsperhaps she has no problem being touched high on her neck. While calmly touching her, give a verbal cue such as “touch.” If she keeps her ears forward, tweet and treat. Slowly move your hand closer to her face. Whenever there’s no reaction, tweet and treat! Soon you should be able to touch her face without a problem.